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Letter to the editor: Social distance, rent resistance and guided meditation

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Spring break revelers. — CC0 via piqsels.com

By Gwendolyn Sterling, Cedar Rapids

If thousands of college kids willfully ignoring a global pandemic to revel in spring-break debauchery isn’t already the plot of a shitty movie, I’m drafting the spec script now.

But is that concept any more ridiculous than several local factories remaining open, having large numbers of employees work in close quarters, in contradiction to basic CDC guidelines? To my knowledge, joints like Nordstrom, Raining Rose and Amana all remain open and operational, putting their employees at increased risk of infection. I’d write a script based on that, but it likely isn’t sexy enough to sell.

I also saw the back-and-forth rent battle in LV’s letter-to-the-editor section. If I had to score the fight, I’d give it to Riley Wilson on Technical Decision (TD), if only because his argument was more comprehensive. Also, Bronson Harmon wrote “banks” and “suffer” in close proximity, which is always a losing proposition.

For me, this crisis has really highlighted the stupid shit privileged, corporate-class people say and care about. Here’s a brief list:

  • Live-stream yoga classes
  • Guided meditation
  • Shopping at premium grocers
  • Apps for everything
  • Banks would suffer
  • Yet, while we mind the pandemic and its myriad inconveniences, we shouldn’t let it distract us from all other issues. While we’ve been looking over there, another election is spiraling toward mediocrity. People (read: mostly politicians) are still proving that if you give ’em an inch, they’ll take a mile. And inequity and injustice aren’t self-quarantining, so neither should our minds. Eternal vigilance! That’s the price for liberty.

    In closing, here’s a Bukowski poem that seems apropos for these times when we find our collective backs against the wall. Bukowski was a chauvinist pig, but he sure could write about the plight of the downtrodden. I found it more useful than guided meditation:

    a woman, a
    tire that’s flat, a
    disease, a
    desire: …

    (Read Charles Bukowski’s “The Shoelace Poem” in its entirety.)


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